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View Full Version : How much better is an O-Lifting bar, really?


Patrick Donnelly
03-04-2008, 05:29 PM
So... I've been looking into weightlifting shoes recently... Probably going to buy a pair of Do-Wins from Glenn Pendlay... And it made me wonder: "Should I buy a bar too?"

I'm going to be needing another one for group training in a few weeks (in addition to my 45# chrome bar and 275# of bumpers), so I can either buy another chrome bar for about $25 off Craig's List, or a $159 Pendlay CrossFit Bar. (That price does not seem to include shipping... That'll hurt.) Is it worth getting the more expensive bar? Take note that I'll be leaving for college in mid-August, leaving nearly all of my equipment behind. It'll still be around for vacations and after college, but it won't be getting any use in the meanwhile.

I've got a goal of hitting a BW snatch this year, which I plan on starting toward soon, but I'm currently only doing about 75% BW... So I'm not going heavy by any means, but would it help? $159 worth of help?

Joe Hart
03-04-2008, 06:25 PM
A good OLY bar is well worth the money. I have a Pendlay Men's bar and love it. I would save your money and get the 20KG Penlay bar or better work a deal for xmas or bday. You can work the poor college student angle.;) Get a good bar and it will last a long time and it will help your technique ( atleast it did for me).

Patrick Donnelly
03-04-2008, 08:07 PM
or better work a deal for xmas or bday. You can work the poor college student angle.;)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Not in a bazillion years.



While I bet that the Pendlay bar is well-made, that's beyond my wallet and my needs right now. When I've got my own home, that'd be a nice addition to the gym, but I'd have to be C&J'ing 350 pounds before I would even think of rewarding myself with that.

John Seiler
03-04-2008, 08:21 PM
I think Randy Strossen said it best in an old IronMind catalog:

If you're weak and plan on staying that way, a cheap bar will do just fine. If you plan on getting strong you'll want to invest in a quality bar.

Seriously, though, if are going for a BW Snatch you'll need something with some whip.

Allen Yeh
03-05-2008, 02:53 AM
So... I've been looking into weightlifting shoes recently... Probably going to buy a pair of Do-Wins from Glenn Pendlay... And it made me wonder: "Should I buy a bar too?"

I'm going to be needing another one for group training in a few weeks (in addition to my 45# chrome bar and 275# of bumpers), so I can either buy another chrome bar for about $25 off Craig's List, or a $159 Pendlay CrossFit Bar. (That price does not seem to include shipping... That'll hurt.) Is it worth getting the more expensive bar? Take note that I'll be leaving for college in mid-August, leaving nearly all of my equipment behind. It'll still be around for vacations and after college, but it won't be getting any use in the meanwhile.

I've got a goal of hitting a BW snatch this year, which I plan on starting toward soon, but I'm currently only doing about 75% BW... So I'm not going heavy by any means, but would it help? $159 worth of help?

If you go with the Do-win's I'd check out the Rogue Fitness Do-win's they look pretty sweet and have a little bit less of a heel than the blue/red Do-win's I've heard. I think I saw pictures over at the Crossfit Equipment Board.


P.S. I returned Good Calories/bad Calories so you should be one more person up on the waitlist. I didn't get to finish it as I was trying to read another book at the same time that I got on hold at the same time.

sarena kopciel
03-05-2008, 04:22 AM
and check out those botev shoes over at this site (http://gwenweightlifting.blogspot.com/), they look awesome!

wfs

Patrick Donnelly
03-05-2008, 09:33 AM
I forgot to mention:
Near the end of the summer, I plan on doing a big group-buy for any of my clients who want to begin a home gym, with the goal to being to save them some money on shipping. So, that would be a decent time to put in an order for an expensive bar of my own, but I don't think it'd be worth the wait.

If you go with the Do-win's I'd check out the Rogue Fitness Do-win's they look pretty sweet and have a little bit less of a heel than the blue/red Do-win's I've heard. I think I saw pictures over at the Crossfit Equipment Board.

They look cool, but I don't pay extra for style. Are you sure about the heels?

P.S. I returned Good Calories/bad Calories so you should be one more person up on the waitlist. I didn't get to finish it as I was trying to read another book at the same time that I got on hold at the same time.

I bought my own copy. I've been getting at it, but it's a slooooow, read.


Re: John
Good point. But how good should I go?

Allen Yeh
03-05-2008, 09:49 AM
I bought my own copy. I've been getting at it, but it's a slooooow, read.



That is what I thought so the other book I had gotten "The World is Flat" received the majority of my attention.

RE: Heel on the do-wins

That is what I have read here:
http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=28230

It was mentioned on the P&B board also in the Oly section.

Having never worn any other Oly shoes other than the Do-win's I don't know anything different since before I was lifting in wrestling shoes.

There are also 2 shorter straps on the new Rogue Do-wins. At a 10 dollar bump had I known about these prior I might have just waited. An issue with the Do-wins now is the strap seems to be excessively long.

John Seiler
03-05-2008, 10:02 AM
Re: John
Good point. But how good should I go?

Well, you already stated the Pendlay bar is too pricey to be an option. In which case try to swing the Economy bar. Ahmik Jones might still have some of the unfinished (lacking black oxide) bars for $159, I believe. Not having the finish won't affect the performance of the bar but it will rust up a bit.

I thought I read that the CrossFit bar and the economy bar are the same. I don't know if that's true. Either one should be a really big jump from a cheapo generic bar. You might just want to give Glenn a call. I've spoken to him -he's super nice, obviously knows his sh-t, and is genuinely interested in making sure you get the right bar for you.

BTW, I'm really glad I chimed in or I wouldn't have noticed the Rogue shoe comment about heel height. I bought some Do-Wins last year that were too high fo my taste. I was contemplating getting some Adistars but was also thinking about waiting until later this year when the Nike Titan's will (hopefully) be released. Problem solved.

Yuen Sohn
03-05-2008, 10:20 AM
Patrick,
I've lifted on the Pendlay bar (at CrossFit NYC) and like John mentioned, you'll definitely feel the difference from a regular barbell. The knurling seemed to beat up my hands a bit more than the Eleikos, so make sure you've got some tape handy if you decide to get it. Other than that, they felt great.

I realize you're on a budget for the time being. Whether you should spend money on shoes or a barbell is a tough call, as both are pretty vital pieces of equipment. I will say, however, that I train with 2 guys who snatch over bodyweight while lifting in combat boots and/or dress shoes. One guy actually prefers his dress shoes over lifting shoes. Something to think about.

Good luck with the bodyweight snatch! Definitely a great goal for the summer.

Edit: Forgot to add...by dress shoe I mean an Oxford-style shoe with a hard heel and rubber (NOT leather) sole.

John Seiler
03-05-2008, 11:40 AM
Patrick,
I've lifted on the Pendlay bar (at CrossFit NYC) and like John mentioned, you'll definitely feel the difference from a regular barbell. The knurling seemed to beat up my hands a bit more than the Eleikos, so make sure you've got some tape handy if you decide to get it. Other than that, they felt great.

I'd be willing to bet Glenn would modify knurling on your bar if you asked. I have a couple of CrossFit bars that I thought the knurling was a little aggressive for my taste. (He makes them that way because of the squatting and deadlifting duties most CF bars will see.) Glenn offered to take the knurling down a bit if I sent them back. Granted I would have paid the shipping but I think it's pretty darn cool that he offered.

Paul Findley
03-05-2008, 12:56 PM
I have an early production crossfit bar and I have spoken to Glenn about the knurling on it. He said that it was intended to cross-over between PL and OL thus the aggro knurl. Later he went less aggro based on feedback. He said that with a file and a some time I could reduce the knurl on my bar. I have not done this. I did just buy his OL bar (bushing not bearing) Hopefully it will ship soon.

Patrick Donnelly
03-05-2008, 01:12 PM
Re: John
Ahmik is out of the bars, but Rogue Fitness is still selling the oxide-less Pendlay Economy bars here (http://www.roguefitness.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=35_39&products_id=365) for $119. They say the knurling is geared towards powerlifting though, which means it has center knurling, right? I would think it'd have to, since Pendlay says the black oxide is what gives his bar enough grip to stay put during backsquats without the center knurling.

I'll have to ask Bill what the difference between the Economy and the CrossFit bars is.

Re: Yoon
I don't mind a bar with a sharp knurling. My hands are pretty leathery already, and if the bar comes out particularly vicious they'll adjust fast enough.

John Seiler
03-05-2008, 02:28 PM
I'm pretty sure that bar doesn't have center knurling. An unfinished bar without knurling will be fine for squatting. It's chrome bars without knurling that are too slippery.

The nice thing about the unfinished bar is that if the knurling is too aggressive, you can knock it down with a file and not worry about taking the finish off (because there isn't a finish.)

Greg Everett
03-05-2008, 02:42 PM
If you're serious, spend the money on a bar. I trained up at CF One World the other weekend while I was there for the Oly seminar, and I bent the shit out of one of their bars - I mean bent. I wish I had a photo of it. If Freddy posts the videos anywhere, you'll probably be able to see it.

David Aguasca
03-05-2008, 05:17 PM
all this talk about the Pendlay bars having an aggressive knurl makes me laugh out loud...i just commented on a forum recently about how mild the knurl is on those bars. i guess that when you expect to o-lift on fat, crappy, cheese-graters with collars that no longer spin, that knurl seems docile.

Patrick Donnelly
03-06-2008, 01:24 PM
Both Bill and Ahmik are out of the oxideless Economy bars, so I'll be ordering the CrossFit bar. It's not the best, but I think it'll work more than well enough for the next few years.

The Rogue Do-Wins will be coming out around mid-April. It's a longer wait than I'd like, but I'll be patient.

Eric Jones
03-06-2008, 02:31 PM
You will love the CrossFit bar, they are a staple here at Rogue. We have a couple generations of them and the knurling, coating, and sleeve system have all improved over time. We have an old CF bar that we call the "DNA bar" due to cutting up so many people's shins, but the new ones are almost smooth in comparison.

We are stoked about the black Do-Wins! We brought the heel down to feel more neutral like the Adidas shoes.

Eric Jones
03-06-2008, 08:35 PM
P.S. We just got word that the shoes are on a plane and will be in stock in about 10 days, so that means they are in the store!

linky: Rogue Do-Wins (http://www.roguefitness.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=133&products_id=384)

Patrick Donnelly
03-06-2008, 08:49 PM
So, if I wear a size 11 Brooks sneaker and size 43 Vibram FiveFingers (EU sizing), would a 10.5 be the best fit for the Do-Wins? I hear a lot of suggestions to go a bit smaller to get a snug fit.

Patrick Donnelly
03-08-2008, 08:48 AM
Never mind. Saw the same question answered on the CrossFit message boards. (1/2 size smaller than normal.)

Sam Cannons
03-11-2008, 07:50 PM
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/details.asp?pID=632&category=0&subcategory=46&size=0&search=&page=

Does any one have any feed back on this bar ?

Thanks

John Seiler
03-12-2008, 03:30 PM
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/details.asp?pID=632&category=0&subcategory=46&size=0&search=&page=

Does any one have any feed back on this bar ?

Thanks

I'm not knocking it; it may be a swell bar. Unfortunately it doesn't say what the diameter is or if it's designed for static or Oly lifts. In that price range I'd play it safe and go with Glenn Pendlay's CrossFit bar.

http://store.wfwclub.com/crossfitbar.html

Dave Van Skike
03-14-2008, 10:39 AM
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/details.asp?pID=632&category=0&subcategory=46&size=0&search=&page=

Does any one have any feed back on this bar ?

Thanks

Tha fact that you can only get it rated up to 500 pounds tell me it's crap.

Eric Jones
03-14-2008, 08:40 PM
Not only that, but 500 static pounds. I've seen 700lb and larger rated bars bent with dropped overhead loads less than 200lbs.

Dave Van Skike
03-15-2008, 12:59 PM
truth, i've seen even a texas power bar bent from dropping massive weights from modest distances.

Patrick Donnelly
03-20-2008, 12:48 PM
Just got the Pendlay CrossFit bar today... Wow, that thing is beautiful. The grip is so comfortable too. The biggest thing I noticed doing some light snatches and C&J is that it doesn't "clang" when you drop it... That makes me wonder why my chrome bar "clangs."

Arden Cogar Jr.
03-21-2008, 09:51 AM
I'm getting pretty serious with this overhead stuff. I can honestly see myself getting over 150kilos overhead soon. Moreover, I have two young daughters that are expressing interest in weightlifting (one with tons of genetic attributes) and I'm considering getting a USAW coaching certification of some sort.

At this point, I have a york training bar and I like it, but when Randy brought his Werksan bar I noticed that it just felt better. Moreover, the sleeves were longer and there was a shorter distance between the sleeves. In other words, when I snatched with the werksan bar, I had my pinkys up against the sleeves - which felt much more powerful to me - I had a lot more control for some reason. Whereas with my york bar, I'm about an inch or so from the sleeves. I also feel that way on all the crappy bars at our local Y?

Is there a difference between comp bars and traditional bars? I honestly don't know. I know the woman's comp bar is smaller (in circumference) and lighter. But that's about it.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

All the best,
Arden

Greg Everett
03-21-2008, 01:24 PM
Is there a difference between comp bars and traditional bars? I honestly don't know. I know the woman's comp bar is smaller (in circumference) and lighter. But that's about it.

Women's bars, whether training or comp, are 15 kg and 25 mm thick; men's are 20 kg and 28 mm thick. Comp bars are IWF certified - but good training bars will meet the IWF specs anyway (e.g. Werksan, Eleiko). Comp bars also usually have deeper knurling - more than you want to train on daily - it will shred your hands.

Here is that video (http://www.performancemenu.com/daily/video/gregUnionCityLifts2-2008-125-150.m4v) - I think it was a Pendlay bar, but I'm not 100% sure. Either way, that's a 150 kg CJ - it bent pretty badly during my warm-ups and for 130, 140 and 150, it was hanging up pretty bad during the turnover, and I could feel it trying to roll away on my shoulders when I was preparing to jerk.

It felt all right when I was snatching - a little tighter of a spin than I would have liked, but not as bad as other bars.

sarena kopciel
03-21-2008, 03:05 PM
Women's bars, whether training or comp, are 15 kg and 25 mm thick; men's are 20 kg and 28 mm thick. Comp bars are IWF certified - but good training bars will meet the IWF specs anyway (e.g. Werksan, Eleiko). Comp bars also usually have deeper knurling - more than you want to train on daily - it will shred your hands.

Here is that video (http://www.performancemenu.com/daily/video/gregUnionCityLifts2-2008-125-150.m4v) - I think it was a Pendlay bar, but I'm not 100% sure. Either way, that's a 150 kg CJ - it bent pretty badly during my warm-ups and for 130, 140 and 150, it was hanging up pretty bad during the turnover, and I could feel it trying to roll away on my shoulders when I was preparing to jerk.

It felt all right when I was snatching - a little tighter of a spin than I would have liked, but not as bad as other bars.

hey Greg, video wont open!

Greg Everett
03-21-2008, 03:08 PM
Open it with either Quicktime or iTunes.

Arden Cogar Jr.
03-23-2008, 06:51 PM
Greg,
Given this, and where I see myself heading, would you recommend me getting a werksan or Eleiko bar?

All the best,
Arden

Women's bars, whether training or comp, are 15 kg and 25 mm thick; men's are 20 kg and 28 mm thick. Comp bars are IWF certified - but good training bars will meet the IWF specs anyway (e.g. Werksan, Eleiko). Comp bars also usually have deeper knurling - more than you want to train on daily - it will shred your hands.

Here is that video (http://www.performancemenu.com/daily/video/gregUnionCityLifts2-2008-125-150.m4v) - I think it was a Pendlay bar, but I'm not 100% sure. Either way, that's a 150 kg CJ - it bent pretty badly during my warm-ups and for 130, 140 and 150, it was hanging up pretty bad during the turnover, and I could feel it trying to roll away on my shoulders when I was preparing to jerk.

It felt all right when I was snatching - a little tighter of a spin than I would have liked, but not as bad as other bars.

sarena kopciel
03-23-2008, 07:57 PM
Open it with either Quicktime or iTunes.

Awesome, WOW:)

Greg Everett
03-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Given this, and where I see myself heading, would you recommend me getting a werksan or Eleiko bar?

If you can afford it, I would get a Werksan.

Arden Cogar Jr.
03-24-2008, 05:55 AM
If you can afford it, I would get a Werksan.

Will have one within the next few weeks. Just got to get spousal authorization. :D Thanks so much for your advice.

All the best,
Arden

sarena kopciel
03-24-2008, 08:30 AM
Will have one within the next few weeks. Just got to get spousal authorization. :D Thanks so much for your advice.

All the best,
Arden

Now you could always say, Coach said I need to buy it!! LOL

Arden Cogar Jr.
03-24-2008, 10:59 AM
Now you could always say, Coach said I need to buy it!! LOL

That's the absolute intention.

However, some serious sticker shock on $750. I'll have to really kiss some serious butt for at least a month and save my pennys to get that one.

All the best,
Arden

Greg Everett
04-06-2008, 02:12 PM
I've now heard from a couple coaches that the newest Pendlay elite bar is super nice. I have no personal experience with it, however, and while it's less than a Werksan/Eleiko, it's still $500 + I believe. I'd like to see some more field testing of it because if it really is as nice as the more expensive bars, it's a savings of $150 or so.

glennpendlay
04-07-2008, 11:28 AM
Greg,

Concerning the bent Econ bar... We have had a small amount of steel bar shafts that came from a batch of steel we later determined to be less than adequate ship out over the last few months. These are a small percentage of the bars sold during this time, but unfortunately they are mixed in with other bars and no real way to differentiate which exact bar the sub-par steel was used in.

Because of this, I have replaced about 25 or so Economy bars that did not live up to expectations, and expect to replace 25-35 more as the people who got these get ahold of me with the bad news that they had a problem with their bar. This is actually the second time we have had a batch of steel not conform to the specs it was sold under, we had some womens bars a couple of years ago that were made with steel which was later determined was less than 50% of the advertised strength. Luckily that time only 7-8 of the bars were shipped, and we knew exactly which ones they were so they were easy to replace quickly.

It sounds like the one you lifted on might be one of the questionable bars, and I would not hesitate to replace it.

This does not affect the Economy HD, the Pendlay bars, or the Pendlay Elite bars, as they are made from completely different steel. It also does not affect any Womens or Junior bars. The only bars which this should affect is a small percentage of the Mens Econ bars that were sold during the last few months.

Also, Greg, I believe you still train with Coach Burgener in his garage? If this is so, would an elite bar donated to Coach B allow you to train on it enough to form an opinion? I have been meaning to give him another bar, and this might be an added excuse for me to do so.

Glenn

Greg Everett
04-07-2008, 11:59 AM
Glenn -

Thanks for posting to clarify the situation. I've been frustrated by my inability to confidently recommend any bars in the lower priced set - I get several emails weekly with that request. We'd very much appreciate a bar to use in the gym, and if what Don Weiderman and whoever else it was says is accurate, it sounds like your elite bar is legit and would fit the bill.

glennpendlay
04-08-2008, 06:12 AM
Greg,

Send me the shipping address, I'll get it off to you.

glenn